While most drivers do their best to behave safely and responsibly behind the wheel, accidents still happen. The dangers are heightened even more when drivers make poor choices behind the wheel. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over six million traffic crashes reported to police in 2014. Millions of people are injured or killed in accidents every year, and the state of Delaware is no exception. The Delaware Office of Highway Safety reports that there have been more traffic deaths this year than for the same time period last year. Luckily, most people are able to walk away from a crash with minor injuries or injuries that are not life threatening. However, that doesn’t always mean the accident is without long-term consequences. If you are involved in an auto accident, it is important to protect your rights and ensure you get the medical, emotional, and financial attention you need. After a Delaware car crash, victims should follow these important steps to safeguard themselves and their loved ones.
Immediately After an Accident Follow These Steps
The period of time directly after an auto accident can feel overwhelming and chaotic. It is important to remain calm and take action to get the help you need as quickly as possible. After an accident, victims should:
- Check for injuries. Assess the health of yourself and the other passengers. If you need help, call 9-1-1 or have someone else call. If you suspect you are seriously injured do not try to move. Wait for help to arrive. If you are able, move your car to the side of the road. Even if your vehicle cannot be moved, try to get all passengers without serious injuries away from the vehicle to a safe spot near the accident site out of traffic.
- Call the police. Contact authorities as soon as possible or find someone who can. Calling the police can provide legal documentation and assessment of the accident scene. In Delaware, those involved in car crashes are legally required to report the accident to the police if at least one of the following elements is at play:
- The accident results in injury or death.
- The accident took place on a public road and results in more than $500 in damage.
- The accident appears to involve a driver who is impaired by alcohol or drug use.
- Document the accident. Take photos of your car, the other car, the accident site, and anything else that may be relevant. Identify the police officers for future reference. Note the day, time, location, and conditions of the accident. Additionally, if there are witnesses present, record their names and contact information so they can be contacted in the future if necessary.
- Exchange information. Obtain information from the other driver (or drivers) involved in the accident. In addition to name, contact information, and insurance information, some other helpful details to note include driver’s license number, license plate number, and make/model of vehicle. Do not discuss any details of the crash or offer any apologies to the other driver.
It can be difficult to remember all these steps after an accident, or an injury can prevent crash victims from being able to collect information at the scene. At the Morris James Personal Injury Group, we understand that every accident is scary and sometimes following all these helpful steps is not possible. Whether you were able to do so or not, our experienced auto accident attorneys may still be able to help you pursue compensation in Delaware. If you have questions, call our office located nearest you to take with a member of our team and learn more about your rights.
Our Experienced Delaware Attorneys Can Help After an Accident
The time directly after an accident should be focused on obtaining the proper medical care. Once you and your loved ones are in suitable condition, it is important to call your insurance company and an experienced auto accident attorney. Though frustrating, many drivers involved in accidents do not have the proper insurance. Or they may have caused the accident because of recklessness or impairment. In these cases, victims often rely on the help of an attorney to obtain the compensation they deserve through a personal injury lawsuit.
Even when the accident is just an accident, a skilled attorney can help victims examine their case, file necessary paperwork, negotiate with insurance companies, and more. While the state of Delaware provides a framework for victims to obtain appropriate compensation, it also often lays a burden of fault onto the victim. Under the state’s comparative negligence rule, the role the victim played in the accident will be examined. The legal team at the Morris James Personal Injury Group has handled many car crash cases, and we can help you learn more about your rights and how state laws can affect your case. We work hard to help our clients prepare a comprehensive case to obtain the compensation they deserve.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a Delaware auto accident, take a moment to fill out our online contact form. You’ll receive a prompt response from a member of our team, ready to answer your questions and help you decide how to best move forward.